Have you been charged with homicide in Lexington, Kentucky? If so, you have every reason to be concerned about your future. However, you do not have to face this challenge alone. The experienced Lexington homicide lawyers at Suhre & Associates, LLC are here to help you fight for your future.
Our team is ready to stand by you and fight for your acquittal. This is a frightening time for you and your family. The state takes this charge very seriously and will do everything they can to convict.
Having a strong, competent, highly-respected law firm on your team will help you get through this difficult time. Contact our Fayette County law office today to speak with our compassionate and non-judgmental legal team at no charge. We can help.
How Our Lexington Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help You Fight Homicide Charges
Being convicted of homicide in Kentucky means losing your freedom, family, and career. Having an experienced Lexington criminal defense lawyer representing you against these charges can make all the difference in the resolution of your case.
At Suhre & Associates, LLC, we pride ourselves on our strong, aggressive approach to fighting for our clients. Homicide is incredibly serious, and when we represent clients on this charge, we leave no stone unturned in seeking the best outcome.
Hiring us means we will handle the following:
- Review the arrest to ensure it was proper and did not violate your constitutional rights
- Investigate the circumstances of the alleged homicide, including identifying witnesses and reviewing police records
- Speak with experts who can testify on your behalf
- Negotiate with the prosecution to try to get a plea deal, including getting your charges reduced
- If the prosecution does not offer a fair and reasonable deal, we will be prepared to take your case to a jury.
At Suhre & Associates, LLC, we understand the criminal justice system and have decades of experience defending our clients against criminal charges. When we take on your case, we are committed to doing everything we can to help you beat these charges. Your first consultation is free, so give us a call to get started today.
Overview of Homicide Charges in Kentucky
A wide range of violent crimes fall under the heading of homicide. The state of Kentucky considers homicide to be causing the death of another under circumstances that constitute what the law defines as murder, first-degree manslaughter, second-degree manslaughter, and reckless homicide. What charges are brought in your specific instance will depend on the circumstances of the crime.
It is not unusual for your alleged actions to overlap, in which case you may be charged with multiple crimes for the same act.
In the event that an individual’s death was planned and carried out with the intent to kill that person, you may find yourself facing a charge of murder. This is the most serious among homicide offenses.
Murder is a Class A felony. The state considers Class A felonies the most serious offenses and they carry punishments in keeping with their severity. Sentencing ranges from twenty-five years to life in prison.
If the homicide involves the death of a police officer, the death penalty could also be on the table.
Is Murder a State or Federal Crime?
The majority of murder cases are state crimes and fall under the jurisdiction of the state. However, in some situations, a murder could potentially qualify as a federal crime, thereby invoking federal law.
Murders in relation to rape or child sexual abuse may be considered federal crimes. Same with murders that occur during bank robberies. If the person killed was a member of a particular government agency, that could also qualify as federal. Murders committed at sea in United States waters may also be considered federal crimes.
Manslaughter is broken into two categories:
- Voluntary Manslaughter (Manslaughter in the first degree): Voluntary manslaughter is a killing that is intentional but not premeditated. It typically occurs in the heat of the moment, and is often called a “crime of passion.” The law refers to this as being under “extreme emotional disturbance.” This is not an uncommon result in domestic violence cases, for example. In Kentucky, voluntary manslaughter is a Class B Felony and can carry anywhere from 10 to 20 years in prison if you are convicted.
- Involuntary Manslaughter (Manslaughter in the second degree): Involuntary manslaughter is unintentional and typically results from reckless behavior. The action may have been one of negligence with no intent to actually harm or cause the death of the individual. Examples of this kind of crime include texting while driving, or leaving a child under eight in a motor vehicle, causing a grave risk resulting in the child’s death.
Involuntary manslaughter is a Class C Felony in Kentucky and a conviction can result in 5-10 years in prison.
Whereas murder is must be premeditated and with malicious intent, manslaughter does not have to rise to that level.
Another charge that is similar to involuntary manslaughter is reckless homicide. Reckless homicide is when you cause someone’s death by acting without any concern for the safety of others. If you should have known that someone could be harmed, you could be charged with reckless homicide. In Kentucky, that is a Class D Felony and is punishable by 1-5 years in prison.
If you attempt to murder someone or cause life-threatening injury and are unsuccessful,you may be charged with attempted murder. Attempted murder qualifies as a Class B Felony and could potentially result in a 10-20 year sentence.
Collateral Consequences of Conviction
If you are convicted of homicide in Kentucky, it will go on your permanent record. That means it will follow you for the rest of your life. Once you are released from serving your sentence, you will find that much of what you once took for granted may now be restricted.
- Housing: You may find it difficult to obtain housing. Unfortunately, many landlords are hesitant to rent homes and apartments to convicted felons.
- Job prospects: Nearly every job application requires you to notify of any prior convictions. Many employers do not hire those with criminal records as per policy.
- Right to bear arms: Convicted felons are prohibited by both State and federal law from purchasing, owning, or even using a firearm.
- Education: Convicted felons will find it difficult to obtain a student loan. Most loans consider conviction a disqualification.
- Immigration: If you are a non-citizen, the government is very likely to pursue deportation proceedings against you. That is a common occurrence for non-citizens who are released from prison after committing violent crimes.
Hiring an attorney to lead your defense is the best way to avoid these harsh realities.
How Can I Defend Myself Against Homicide?
While a charge of homicide is incredibly serious and should be treated as such, it does not mean there is no hope. Before you can be convicted, you must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The prosecution will do everything they can to satisfy their burden and prove your guilt. Our Lexington homicide lawyers are fearless and will go toe to toe with the prosecution to defend you. We know how to make the prosecution’s job difficult.
Part of that is putting together a defense strategy. We know Kentucky criminal law in and out, and we will consider every angle to seek out the best possible defense.
Among the possible arguments:
- Whether you were under force or duress
- The accuser may have mistaken you for someone else
- Whether you do not meet the necessary level of intent
- The prosecution has insufficient evidence
- Witnesses have been shown to be unreliable
- You acted in self-defense or defense of a third party
- You were falsely charged
- At some point in the process, the state violated your rights
We take our duty to defend you seriously and will spare no argument at our disposal. We are never passive—we go after the prosecution and break down their case against you. We believe in being aggressive and playing offense to keep the prosecution off guard.
Contact a Lexington Homicide Lawyer Today
When you are facing homicide charges, it can be difficult to focus and think clearly regarding the next steps. That is exactly why your first step should be to contact us as soon as possible after your arrest.
Your future and that of your family is at stake. This is not the time to take risks with law firms that have less experience or are not as highly regarded. You need established trial attorneys who know how to negotiate with prosecutors outside the courtroom and do battle with them inside the courtroom.
Your choice of criminal defense law firm may be the factor that determines whether you will get your freedom or get a jail sentence. We always put your interests first and you will receive the VIP treatment we offer all of our clients.
Give us a call today at Suhre & Associates, LLC, to arrange a free initial consultation. We will discuss your case with you and give you our initial impressions and possible options we can pursue on your behalf. Trust us to take care of your case.
Our Lexington, KY criminal defense law firm also provides:
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